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How do I Market in an Economic Downturn?

January 20, 2010

Everyone in every aspect of businesses have their opinions on how to handle our current economic downturn.  Everyone has to adjust to their current economic conditions and make the best of their situation.  So how should you handle marketing in tough times?  I don’t necessarily subscribe to one “strategy” for all tough times, but I do have a piece of wisdom to share.

Too many number crunching bosses see marketing in a light which in incorrect and unrepresentative of its true value.  Too frequently marketing is seen purely as an expense.  Marketing is seen as something that takes away from profits and not add to them.

Marketing needs to be seen for what it really is, as an investment.  Not only does correct marketing bring in immediate sales, it also acts as a long-term investment.  The money you spend today can bring countless customers to you in the future.

When times get tough, most businesses (big and small) cut marketing spending.  Would you?

Well think about it this way.  If everyone else is cutting spending, and you kept your levels untouched who has the advantage? Who a bigger presence?

If everyone else cut their spending, what would happen to prices of media and services?

I think you get where I’m going here.

If all your competition cuts their marketing spending, doesn’t that mean there’s less competition, less pressure from others and lower prices?  Now if you could actually increase your marketing during tough times (crazy I know) think about how effective your extra spend would be.  Prices would be much cheaper and you would get MUCH more value for your dollar, as well as having less competition from others.  Sounds like a pretty good situation to me.

Even though in tough times, consumers have less buying power, your increased effort won’t go unheard.  When economic conditions pick up again, your customers will thank you by making that purchase they couldn’t before.

Now of course this won’t work for everyone in every situation, but its something to keep in mind.  I understand cutting expenses during tough times, sometimes a company just needs to be more conservative.  But, remember marketing should never be seen as an expense.  It has both short and long-term benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked while budgeting in a tough time.

Any thoughts?  Do you know of a business that has done either?

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